Friday, November 27, 2020

Minion Masters mobile closed beta recruitment

Hello masters!

Everyone at BetaDwarf is hard at work closing out what has been a big year for our studio. We're hoping that we can share more and more info as time goes on. We'd love to have a slow drip of information coming out to get you all excited but still remain a bit mysterious.

Today, we have something that everyone will hopefully be excited about!

Minion Masters mobile closed beta recruitment! 

Yes, we are recruiting players for the closed beta for the Minion Masters mobile version. To start, we know we previously asked for signups, but that was premature, and we ended up not needing people at that time.

Now we are looking for players to help test out the mobile version starting in December. I can't go into too much detail about what we are looking for, but we have a quick form that you can fill out if you would like to be a part of the beta. Make sure to read the instructions carefully. Any information provided will be used for BetaDwarf game test recruitment.


Minion Masters esports

We have a few tournaments coming up. 


Starting on Dec. 4, BadAsAFish80 will be hosting his twelfth 2v2 tournament with a $100 prize pool. This tournament is open to everyone, so grab a friend and sign up today!





Closer to the holidays, Sinobii will be hosting the first Mega-SBI, sponsored by GGToor. A whopping 32 players will win cash in this tournament with an overall prize pool of $2,000. 


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Minion Masters Economy Changes Follow-up

Hey everyone, we want to start off by thanking you for engaging in this discussion passionately and bringing up your concerns. We understand that this is highly contentious news, so we wanted to clarify in some areas while we discuss things further behind the scenes.

Know that your feedback is always important, and we take it very much to heart when there’s a strong reaction.

Rubies

To start, we can be super honest with you about the problem that we are facing. Minion Masters has always had systems in place that were generous with rubies. Right now, approximately 50% of rubies spent in Minion Masters were “grinded” as opposed to purchased. For a premium currency that is an issue. 

Our main goal was to rebalance the economy by replacing them with other rewards that provide more overall value, but come in different forms. However, we recognise that we may have gone too far with the amount of Rubies removed and that some of the new rewards don’t feel particularly good, and we’re making the following adjustments;

  • Rubies moved from Grand Master to Diamond to make them more achievable
  • Grand Master reward is 150 Shards
  • Grand Master reward in the future may be replaced with exclusive avatars
    • These exclusive avatars would come as special versions of existing avatars
  • Contender reward increased to 3000 Gold

  • Every 10th Profile Level after 50 grants 250 Rubies
  • Power Token rewards in Profile Levels increased from 2 to 3

Here’s what that looks like on the tables we used before:


Ranked Rewards

Rank New
Stone 5 Copies of an Unknown Common Card
Bronze 1000 Gold
Silver 3 Copies of an Unknown Rare Card
Gold 2 Power Tokens
Platinum 3 Copies of an Unknown Supreme Card
Diamond 100 Rubies
Master 3 Power Tokens
GM 150 Shards
Contender 3000 Gold

Profile Level Rewards

Note: These rewards repeat infinitely. The Level value is used for the purpose of clarity.

X Level New
x1 1000 Gold
x2 1000 Gold
x3 Boost
x4 1000 Gold
x5 3 Power Tokens
x6 1000 Gold
x7 1000 Gold
x8 3 Power Tokens
x9 1000 Gold
x0 250 Rubies

We’d love to hear what you think about these changes and what kind of alternatives to Rubies you’d like to see, but regardless we hope this comes across as a more fair alteration of the existing reward paths.

Skins & The Shop

Focusing on selling skins often comes up, and while we’ve discussed it in the past, we’d like to reiterate here. We wanted Minion Masters to be carried by skins. We hoped for that, it’s the major reason we introduced them besides customization. Unfortunately Adventures and cosmetics, even the high-end skins, just don’t make the money necessary for the game to be sustainable by themselves, with new content being much more desirable. 

A frequent request we’ve seen regarding the Shop in response to our post, however, is to “open up” in regards to what skins are being sold at any one time. We’re happy to announce that, starting with Version 1.19, all purchasable skins will be available at their full price, all the time. The Featured Shop Offers page will remain however, with periodic discounts being offered on the skins, much like before. There might be some bugs with the system due to its rapid inclusion in the upcoming update, but we deemed it’s important to make good on your feedback as soon as possible.

Battle Pass & Ranked

There’s been some very valid concerns about reducing new content in the battlepass. We know it’s a major part of keeping the game fresh. However, it also takes a lot of focus, and we’ve gotten a lot of feedback that too many cards are being released with barely time to balance it out. We take that to heart, and scaling down should help balance and quality, and also make time for more on gameplay improvements. 

We're also working hard on the ELO system tests, which will make the ranked system more meaningful and there are so many other great suggestions from the community we would like to implement. We can't reveal too much about it now, however, but it's a promising opportunity to improve Minion Masters in the future.


Lastly, we want to give some peace of mind and inform you that we don’t intend to alter the Minion Masters economy again for a while - we don’t like making changes to it just as much as you. As always, we’re listening closely to your responses and taking them seriously. We realize that we have missed the mark with some of the initial changes. Hopefully this gives you a bit more insight into why we are making these changes, and we’re open to your suggestions about how we can improve our plan.

Cheers from BetaDwarf!

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Upcoming changes to the Minion Masters Economy

Minion Masters!

Version 1.19 Economy Rework

We're reformatting the Free Spin rewards and moving it into free shop offers, removing some Ruby rewards and changing the Battle Pass price.



In previous posts, we've detailed how we need to make adjustments to the Minion Masters Battle Pass system in order to ensure that the game isn't "too free", as well as to create a more sustainable game for us to continue to work on going forwards. 

While the recent changes have proven favorable, it also began to highlight that we would need to make further changes to how the Economy of Minion Masters functions for us to achieve this goal, and to keep supporting the game we love. In particular, one of these necessary changes are to the income of Rubies a player receives. 

Their inclusion in the natural economy of the game has been enjoyed by players for a long time, but as the game has aged they have also harmed the game's monetization to a significant extent by creating scenarios where players don't feel they have any "buying power" when it comes to Rubies. "Why spend money on the game's premium resource if it's so readily available just by playing the game?" is a sentiment we've seen echoed many times throughout the community, and it's something we've been able to measure the true impact of on Minion Masters. As such, it was apparent to us that they were the primary element about the in-game economy that had to be changed, and a lot of the reworks we will be discussing in this post come about as a result of this.

As always, our continued goal with Minion Masters, and top priority with these changes, is to ensure that the game remains "fair to play" for everyone, regardless of if you pay for access to new content or not. We're working to keep Minion Masters the most generous F2P game out there, and we don't want to start pinching people's wallets. New content should be available faster if you pay for it, but not be stronger than content you can earn for free. Cards should afford new opportunities - not advantages.

But to keep the game sustainable, we need some measure of control over the premium economy, which we are currently lacking.

Free Daily Resource Changes

The first step we're taking is to replace the "Free Spin" resource token you receive every day with a free Shop Offer instead. The main reason behind this is due to the ability to gain Rubies from the Free Spins, which is the resource we are looking to limit in how much you can earn with these changes.

If we simply removed the Rubies from the spin however, we also feel it wouldn't be very interesting for a player to use every day, so we're aiming to replace it with constant Free shop offers that allow us to potentially create more interesting daily rewards, like random copies of cards that might be more valuable to players than a small sum of Gold.

Level Up & Ranked Rewards

The larger source of Ruby income we're changing, however, is those that you receive from ranking up in 1v1, 2v2, and 2v2 Premade modes, as well as the large quantities you receive every 5 levels after Account Level 50. 

These were by far the largest source of free Ruby income for players, and were the biggest contributing factor to the feeling of Ruby purchases being unnecessary for experienced players, while feeling somewhat unfair to players that weren't capable of reaching the higher ranks in each mode. They also made it feel somewhat mandatory to "grind out" Grand Master in all 3 modes each month, else you would miss out on a significant amount of free player income.

To put it into perspective, a player that reached Grand Master in every mode would earn 975 Rubies - If they earned 10 Profile Levels, they would be getting an extra 550. This meant the typical monthly Ruby income for this player was 1525 Rubies - enough to cover the price of the Battle Pass. If you were a player that could consistently achieve this every month, there was essentially no reason to ever pay for Rubies, and this had significantly hurt the sustainability of Minion Masters for a long time.

As such, our goal is to keep it a generous and rewarding track, but to separate it from the premium economy. These plans are subject to possible change, but in the interests of transparency we've detailed the alterations below:

Ranked Rewards

Rank Old New
Stone 50 Shards 5 Copies of an Unknown Common Card
Bronze 75 Rubies 1000 Gold
Silver 1000 Gold 3 Copies of an Unknown Rare Card
Gold 75 Shards 2 Power Tokens
Platinum 1200 Gold 2 Copies of an Unknown Supreme Card
Diamond 100 Rubies 1500 Gold
Master 1500 Gold 2 Power Tokens
GM 150 Rubies 100 Rubies
Contender None 2000 Gold

Profile Level Rewards

Note: These rewards repeat infinitely. The Level value is used for the purpose of clarity.

Level Old New
51 1000 Gold 1000 Gold
52 1000 Gold 1000 Gold
53 Boost Boost
54 1000 Gold 1000 Gold
55 200 Rubies 2 Power Tokens
56 1000 Gold 1000 Gold
57 1000 Gold 1000 Gold
58 2 Power Tokens 2 Power Tokens
59 1000 Gold 1000 Gold
60 350 Rubies 5 Copies of an Unknown Supreme Card

Battle Pass Adjustments

With these changes in mind, we're also making the decision to make further adjustments to the Battle Pass to reflect the new economy.

  • Price is now 1250 Rubies
  • Contains 2 new cards each month
  • One card will be in the Premium path only
  • Existing customization is being added, as well as a refund feature
    • 1 Legendary Skin
    • 2 Avatars
    • 2 Emotes
    • Unlocking customization you already own will refund 20% of its Gold value.
  • Still contains new Customization
Most of these changes come as an evolution of the previous adjustments we made in Version 1.16, where we considered making the Legendary card from each Season Pass only available in the Premium Path. Our main goal with the new Battle Pass design was to find ways we can downscale the scope of the individual passes without sacrificing the quality of their contents, and making players feel their purchases are still valuable.

To this end, the change to create two new cards per month instead of three can be seen as somewhat of a benefit - It allows us to focus our efforts on putting more creativity and time into more polished, interesting cards, rather than having to make ones players feel are less exciting for the sake of filling the contents of the Battle Pass.

As a result of this, we're choosing to reduce the price of the Battle Pass to reflect the lower amounts of new content being added, but also to make it more affordable in the reworked Minion Masters economy. We're hoping that the addition of extra customization items also helps to make up for the value of that extra new card, being a valuable addition to both new and old players alike.

As a final note, the addition of existing customization options should not affect new content of those types - We're still planning on having exciting new Skins, Avatars and Emotes with the new pass system.

We'd like to thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy post. We're optimistic that these changes can help aid Minion Masters in truly becoming sustainable as we wish, and we hope we've been able to shed some light on why we feel these changes are necessary for us to perform. As always, if you have questions, we're open to answer them in our usual channels.

A note from That Sprite


Hey Masters, That Sprite here. For a while now I've been in charge of our blog posts and newsletter communication, as well as the Patch Notes and general responsibilites of the BetaDwarf Community Manager. This week will be my last post as I begin to part ways with BetaDwarf, with my responsibilities being transferred over to RGL_Trinity, who'll be undertaking the role going forward.

This isn't a sudden decision and comes amicably, and we've been working to make it happen as smoothly as possible over the last few months, so nothing should be immediately different for you and I'm confident it's being left in the right hands. You'll likely still see me hanging around the Minion Masters crowd and I'll always be available for a friendly chat.

I'm not one for overly long farewells, but it's been a great two and a half years working with the exceptionally talented people at BetaDwarf, and I couldn't be more glad for the opportunity and the experiences I've shared with everyone. Thanks for everything!

- "That Sprite", Community Manager

Cheers from BetaDwarf!

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Minion Masters 2.0 and the future of BetaDwarf

Greetings masters!

The dwarfs have been working really hard behind the scenes to prepare for some pretty big changes coming to Minion Masters and BetaDwarf. We would like to officially announce that BetaDwarf is becoming a multi-game company!


We’ve put together a great dedicated team to run Minion Masters for years to come, and established the ground-work for another game to add to the family, working title Project Haven.

Most relevant to you is a big 2.0 upgrade we will talk about below.


This comes off the back of lots of new dwarves joining the team the last year and slowly setting BetaDwarf up with dedicated teams for each game, but also to share things both games can use - e.g. a 3D model from Haven can be used in Minion Masters, and a server component for Minion Masters can later be adapted for Haven.


Without further ado, we present Minion Masters 2.0!



Minion Masters 2.0 is a major upgrade to the game that will help propel Minion Masters to new heights. We are planning on releasing the Minion Masters 2.0 update alongside the mobile version, although we haven’t set a date for the release yet. Stay tuned for that.


As mobile development started, we saw an opportunity to make big improvements to the game that we’ve wanted to make for a long time: upgrade the UX on all platforms, much requested performance improvements and finally, improving the code base.

While we’re not touching the core gameplay (as part of this upgrade), it’s going to make the menus and overall feel of the game, well, feel like a new game, thus the 2.0 designation. We know there are concerns in the community about how Minion Masters will work on both PC, mobile and Xbox, but we’re actively working to make it the best it can on all platforms. 


We still want to make plenty of other changes to the game along the way - requested improvements to the ladder are already in the works with trials for hidden ELO and more competitive higher ranks starting this month, economy improvements to make Minion Masters more sustainable still need doing, and much more Today, however,we are focusing on the big long-term package called 2.0.


Let’s dive a little deeper into what Minion Masters 2.0 and mobile will bring:

  • We are making a lot of optimizations to improve performance, a requirement for mobile that will benefit PC and console as well.

  • We are also rewriting the code base for the Minion Masters client, which will result in fewer bugs and faster development and will allow us to make your suggestions, new content and features for years to come. 

  • We are redesigning the user interface and focusing on user experience. We want to make the game much easier to navigate, make the game more appealing to new players, and overall make the game cleaner with higher quality UI. I’m sure you’ll appreciate the changes to the Season roll-over screen and how rewards are faster :)

  • We’re aiming for what we call “True Cross-Platform”, i.e. it’s made for all platforms, has cross-play, cross-save, you can link your accounts between any platform and seamlessly switch, all that jazz.

  • And a bunch of other stuff we’ll talk about later!


Fortunately, we were able to bribe the UX designers with some cake so they would allow us to share images of the UI rework with you. Just to note, these images are for the mobile version, and they are still being worked on. As we built it from scratch we were exploring mobile UI first because that's what we know the least about, but there are obvious things to make it fit for PC. We would love to hear your feedback on what elements you would like for the PC version as we start building that version too.




The dwarfs are working hard to get these changes out. This is a very big update and will take some time to make perfect, but it will be an exciting update that helps Minion Masters’ development for years to come.

We are thrilled to start talking about 2.0, and excited about what it’ll mean for Minion Masters.

Now, we also promised some details on Haven.


What is Project Haven?


Project Haven is the code name for our next project. It’s still in the very early prototyping phase, and we’re not making a splash out of the announcement yet, we wanted you to be the first to hear.

We do not have a lot of concrete details yet, but we can share an idea of where we’re going right now.


Haven is a cooperative PvE MOBA where you play as tight-knit groups of heroes saving the world from a time-twisted fate.

It plays a lot like a MOBA, but as with other BetaDwarf games there’s a lot of focus on fast decision-making over reactions. Action-decisions, if you will.


We’re building it to be forever replayable, with tons of systems for variation and interesting decision making to be made on the fly.


It’s also built to foster friendships through co-operation, guild-building mechanics and what we simply call “friendshipping”, a variety of mechanics ranging from e.g. matchmaking you more with those you enjoyed playing with to high-trust missions where you bring your best teammates.


Haven is linked to the Minion Masters (also FORCED and Showdown) world, but toys with some cool time-clashing mechanics that will allow you to play as and encounter all your favorite characters.


This is all very vague, but while we’d love to tell you more we intentionally aren’t sharing details publicly because it would be unwise. We wanted you to know about the overall future for the company though.


Weaving them together With Haven being in the Minion Masters universe, there will also be some opportunities for us to share things, especially art assets, between the two games, making development faster and more cohesive between both. Overall we have some lofty goals for Haven. We want to push the boundaries of co-op games to create lifelong friendships all around and across the world; we’re on a journey to becoming a front-runner in games that also attacks a society epidemic: loneliness. We expect this to help Minion Masters grow as well and aim to get 60 percent of Haven players to play Minion Masters in addition to Haven. We know you have an Empyrean ton of questions at this point, and we’ll share more about Haven as we go, but for now we’re going to focus on getting Minion Masters 2.0 rolling and out on that mobile platform so the game can continue to grow!


Your Thoughts? As always, we want to know what you think. Head over to our Discord and let us know! We are sure you have a lot of questions about the changes. If so, please DM them to RGL_Trinity#2180. He will get them together and do a follow up Q&A in next week’s blog with Alex, Minion Master’s content lead, and Peter, Minion Master’s lead designer.